Srinagar: Opposition People`s Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday expressed dismay over the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker`s decision to "send a letter" to former Army chief General (Retd) VK Singh instead of summoning him in connection with his alleged pay-off remarks.
This is breach of the Speaker`s own ruling in the House, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said, adding "the U-turn by the Speaker (Mubarak Gul) on this sensitive subject has in no way added to the prestige of the House, the restoration of which was the focus of the discussion on Singh`s expose about the pay-offs to politicians."
Gul yesterday issued a notice to Gen (Retd) Singh to explain his position within 20 days on his allegations of political pay-offs to ministers in the state right since Independence for getting "certain jobs done".
Mehbooba said the Speaker has clearly followed ruling National Conference`s "traditional doublespeak" and tried to pursue the party diktat rather than implement his own ruling.
She said the Speaker`s decision exposes the lack of political will in the ruling party to uphold the sanctity of the democratic institutions or the political class.
"The inability of the NC and the authorities associated with it to stand by the interests of the state, and making compromises for petty political interests have been a major reason for the problems of the state one of which is the fact that the politicians have been treated as a commodity who can be sold and bought," she alleged.
"The Speaker`s decision represents in a way the entire history of the U-turns of NC since 1947 and unfortunately this time the prestige of the state legislature has been further eroded when the effort was to retrieve it," she added.
Reiterating her party`s demand that Gen (Retd) Singh be summoned before the bar of the House, Mehbooba said, "Heavens would not fall if a former Army chief was asked to appear before the highest seat of democracy in a country where nobody is regarded above law and where even the Prime Minister has offered himself for investigation".